Jakarta, Indonesia: Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão of Timor-Leste has expressed his deep gratitude to Cambodia, particularly to former Prime Minister Hun Sen, for their assistance in Timor-Leste's journey to become an ASEAN observer and advance toward full ASEAN membership.
This heartfelt appreciation was conveyed during a meeting between Prime Minister Gusmão of Timor-Leste and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 6, 2023.
Prime Minister Gusmão extended warm congratulations to President Hun Sen for garnering the support of the people and the National Assembly to lead Cambodia's new Royal Government. He also conveyed his deep respect for President Hun Sen, whom he has always regarded as a cherished brother.
The Prime Minister expressed profound gratitude to the Royal Government of Cambodia and Former Prime Minister Hun Sen for their continuous support and encouragement in guiding Timor-Leste toward regional and global integration.
"Assisting Timor-Leste in becoming an ASEAN observer during Cambodia's ASEAN chairmanship in 2022, as well as sharing Cambodia's experience of joining ASEAN in 1999, holds great significance. It's a gesture of respect and a crucial pathway for Timor-Leste to learn and prepare for ASEAN membership in the near future," emphasized Prime Minister Gusmão.
Highlighting Cambodia's history, having experienced significant destruction over a millennium, Prime Minister Hun Manet expressed a profound understanding of Timor-Leste's current situation and challenges. The Royal Government of Cambodia reiterated its commitment to continue supporting and assisting Timor-Leste, especially in the preparations for ASEAN membership.
During the meeting, both leaders discussed potential areas for enhancing cooperation between their nations, with a particular focus on trade, education, agriculture, and tourism. They expressed optimism that this cooperation would bring substantial benefits to both countries.